June 7, 2019 Subject:
945 Broadcasts and One Audition Show
Only The Whistler has more episodes, (by about 70, I think). Of course, The Whistler cannot compete with Suspense in terms of high production values! Suspense used the best of the best, —writers, actors, directors, music, Foley, etc. Suspense, was able to foster the highest budgets. Suspense also did not waste a cent. The writing and production values are far beyond any other show of the same period. Even in 1962, there was not another drama show that could beat Suspense for sophistication. Suspense was FAR ahead of its time. No hokey Suspense shows!
Even the classic cameos from Jack Benny were handled with exceptional taste and creativity. —Plus, Jack Benny was a consummate actor. Even Dennis Day did a couple of programmes; —thoroughly out of character and he did a fine job. Dennis Day is a real shocker!
I believe the finest Suspense works were produced and directed by Elliot Lewis, circa 1953 -1954. William N. Robeson was a fine PD, but Elliot Lewis programmes stand out from the pack, I have yet to hear a mediocre Elliot Lewis Suspense programme. Cathy Lewis was his wife and they acted in many a fine Suspense programme. —Waaaay ahead of their time.
For, perhaps THE finest Suspense performance in the catalogue (delightfully sick & twisted), listen to "Don't Call Me Mother" (#794) starring Agnes Moorehead, Cathy Lewis, James McCallion, Barney Phillips & Norm Alden, broadcast on 4 January 1959. This particular Suspense programme can stand up to ANY modern radio play and more than hold its own. If you are trying to impress a new listener to Suspense, THIS is the programme to play! It's like a great train wreck; —you cannot turn away. ENJOY!
If you are looking for another great drama programme ahead of its time, check out THEATER FIVE, broadcast on ABC in 1965. —Probably the last high quality drama programme on American network radio.
PS: There is another Archive.org OTR link for complete 1942 -1962 Suspense programmes. It is generally of higher quality audio, plus it has the alternate AFRS shows that are frequently different performances and often of higher sound quality. AFRS shows are always worth a listen because they were transcribed or taped for rebroadcast to our troops in WWI, Korea, etc. I.e., they HAD to sound good! Many of these Suspense programmes are transferred directly from the source tape or transcription and some are well remastered. Suspense started TAPING circa 1955; —one of the first shows to move to the venerable Ampex 201 and Scotch 111.
March 4, 2014 Subject:
Best Kept Secret!
the audio files on archive.org are a gem not utilized enough- and "Suspense" must be the best kept secret on archive, if not the internet. I have not found a file yet with less than fine audio, and the stories! How the heck did they manage to keep up such great material? What writing! What acting! Fabulous, fabulous voice acting, timing, direction- everything. This is truly a superior and impressive library of just fascinating listening. So glad I found it, and I was not born yet nor even was my mother old enough to listen, but boy is this GOOD STUFF! Wow, maybe it WAS "better in the old days" as they claim.
January 31, 2014 Subject:
Murder in Black & White
Edmund Gwen's boss in this one sure sounds like Orson Welles, for which he is uncredited.